Overnight Regulation: Deadlocked court delivers blow to Obama immigration actions

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Thursday evening here in Washington and we can't get over the fact that the Supreme Court released a one-line decision in the immigration case. 

Here's the story. 

 

THE BIG STORY

The Supreme Court dealt a critical blow to President Obama's immigration policies on Thursday, deadlocking in a 4-4 decision over two controversial programs the White House wants to implement.

The tied vote leaves in place a lower court ruling that blocks a program allowing undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to remain in the United States for three years and apply for work permits. 

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It also prevents the administration from otherwise expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program issued by Obama in 2012.

This is the most prominent Supreme Court case to stall in a 4-4 tie, and it raises the stakes further in this fall's presidential election.

After Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, Obama nominated federal Judge Merrick Garland to the court.

But Senate Republicans, even before that nomination, said they would not hold a vote or a hearing for anyone nominated by Obama, arguing the pivotal vote on the high court should be determined by the next president.

Obama in an appearance from the White House press briefing room decried what he called the "lack" of a decision by the eight-justice court.

"The fact the Supreme Court wasn't able to issue a decision today doesn't just set the system back even further, it takes us further back from the country we want to be," he said. 

Republicans hailed the high court's vote.

"The Supreme Court's ruling makes the president's executive action on immigration null and void," Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump clash ahead: Ron DeSantis positions himself as GOP's future in a direct-mail piece Cutting critical family support won't solve the labor crisis Juan Williams: Trump's GOP descends into farce MORE (R-Wis.) said in a statement. "The Constitution is clear: The president is not permitted to write laws -- only Congress is. This is another major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers."

Thursday's action does not affect the original DACA decision by Obama that allows certain children who entered or stayed in the United States illegally to remain in the country and apply for work permits. 

Twenty-six Republican-led states sued the federal government over the expansion of that program, as well as the new program for parents, after the president issued fresh executive actions in November 2014.

The states claimed they would be burdened by having to spend more on public services like healthcare, law enforcement and education if undocumented parents of both American citizens and legal permanent residents were allowed to stay in the country.

Texas, specifically, said it would be hurt by having to issue more driver's licenses, a benefit that's now subsidized.

Jordan Fabian contributed to this report. 

Click here for more: http://bit.ly/28Qn67M

And here are five things to know about the court's immigration decision: http://bit.ly/28QdXJI

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 181 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Friday's edition of the Federal Register.

--The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will issue new drone regulations.

The FAA announced the drone rules earlier in the week, but is now formally publishing them in the Federal Register to codify the requirements.

The new rules will pave the way for remote pilots to be certified to operate drones, or small, unmanned aircraft.

The new rule goes into effect in 60 days. http://bit.ly/28SzndX

--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will consider prohibiting people from coming into contact with dangerous animals like bears, lions, tigers, and monkeys.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service originally began consider the ban in August 2013, but is now reopening the comment period to give the public more time to consider the changes.

This stems from a petition requesting the ban under the Animal Welfare Act.

The public has until Aug. 31, 2016 to comment. http://bit.ly/28ON4aH

--The Department of Energy (DOE) will consider new rules for electric motors.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy on Thursday proposed new certification requirements and enforcement regulations for electric motors.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/28Q5nun

--The Department of Energy will also consider new efficiency rules for televisions.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy on Thursday issued a request for information as it looks into new test procedures for televisions.

The public has 30 days to comment. http://bit.ly/28TZMGY

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Ex-CIA chief to Senate: Close the terror loophole. http://bit.ly/28TCvqB

Justices set new limits on drunk driving tests. http://bit.ly/28OOMZJ

GOP fails to block Obama's financial adviser rule. http://bit.ly/28WJwD2

Morgan Freeman comes to Capitol Hill to save the sharks. http://bit.ly/28PXJ2Y

Labor secretary to push for higher wages at Reagan National Airport. http://bit.ly/28U2k7F

Dodd and Frank: Judge was wrong in Dodd-Frank ruling. http://bit.ly/28Q8geS

Supreme Court upholds affirmative action program at Texas college. http://bit.ly/28PxZs6

SEC freezes brokerage hacker's funds http://bit.ly/28QSNvZ

Yuengling to improve pollution control, pay $2.8M fine http://bit.ly/28OTbMh

Senator shares frustrating call with cable company http://bit.ly/28TJqQG

'Ghost Gunner' king: Democrats' regulation push fuels DIY industry. (Washington Times). http://bit.ly/28RmLRu

 

BY THE NUMBERS

4-4: Supreme Court split over President Obama's immigration order. 

4.9 million: Number of people the Department of Homeland Security estimated could be eligible for deportation relief under the programs.

http://bit.ly/28QdXJI

 

TWEET OF THE DAY

"The real winner of the House sit-in is @periscopeco. #freepublicity," Rep. Scott RigellScott RigellSpanberger's GOP challenger raises over .8 million in third quarter Ex-Rep. Scott Taylor to seek old Virginia seat GOP rushes to embrace Trump MORE (R-Va.) tweeted Thursday morning. C-SPAN and others were forces to resort to Periscope and Facebook Live to follow the Democrats sit-in on the House floor Wednesday and Thursday. House cameras are turned off when the chamber is not in session. http://bit.ly/28RittA

 

We'll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill's Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and @wheelerlydia.

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